Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples of the Vatican, released a book on the stories of Christian faith amid persecution during the 2008 anti-Christian riots in Kandhamal, Orissa.
"This book is prophetic and it will help our people grow in faith. It is fitting that Cardinal Filoni is releasing this book,” said Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo.
The book ‘Early Christians of 21st century – stories of incredible Christian witness from Kandhamal jungles’ is authored by journalist Anto Akkara.
It was released at a function marking the silver jubilee of the Conference of Catholic Bishops’ of India (CCBI) at the Marian shrine of Vailankanni in Tamil Nadu yesterday.
The prelate said that the author has taken great pains to register and record the incredible witness and the suffering of Kandhamal Christians.
Apostolic nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennachio, Cardinal Oswald Gracias and Bishop Devadas Ambrose of Thanjavur were present at the release of the book.
Besides them, the program was attended by more than 120 bishops from across India.
Addressing the bishops, Cardinal Filoni said, “when Jesus bid farewell to his disciples, he did not say ‘you will have a good time’. Rather, he said that ‘you will have hard times and you will be sad. But your sorrow will turn into joy. Story of martyrs is continuing to inspire us.”
The 75,000-word book is a collection of over 100 stories of witness to the Christian faith amid brutal persecution of Christians in Kandhamal.
The book also provides an in-depth analysis of the lawlessness in Kandhamal.
The 276-page book has been published by Veritas India Books based in Bangalore.
Akkara had earlier penned two books on Kandhamal violence- ‘Kandhamal – a blot on Indian Secularism’ and later ‘Shining Faith in Kandhamal.’
Source: press release
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